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Review: Airbnb

Accommodation - Apartment

Airbnb first timer - beware strict cancellation policy

  • By SilverTraveller Hardyplant

    42 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon

  • 2021

18 people found this review helpful

In January 2020 I booked a 2-bedroom apartment in Liverpool for myself, my husband and my son so my son could go to see a Genesis concert later in the year as I’d bought him a ticket for his 50th birthday. I noticed that the host had a Strict Cancellation Policy and was fully aware of the conditions so have only myself to blame, which is why I’m bringing this to the attention of other Silver Travellers.

I still went ahead because I could see no reason why we wouldn’t be able to go; my thought being that if my husband or myself couldn’t go then at least my son could, and vice versa. Then Covid-19 hit and everything changed. The concert was postponed. I contacted the host, and he very kindly agreed to a change of date to April 2021, the new date for the concert, and I paid the extra amount (it was a more expensive time of the year). Then the concert was cancelled for April, so again I asked if I could transfer the date to the hoped for concert in October 2021. I had checked on his site that there was a vacancy for the dates I wanted, and there was. However, he responded that this wouldn’t be possible because he might want to do some work on the flat at this time. He suggested I request a change through Airbnb, which he would agree to and then when the time came and he wasn’t able to host us he would cancel the booking his end. I’d get a refund, and we would still have time to find somewhere else to stay. Up until this time Airbnb’s Covid-19 rules did not allow me to cancel at no loss to me. I contacted Airbnb and requested a change of date but I never had a response from them or from the host. I waited a couple of months to give them a chance but eventually decided to cancel while I still could, up to 7 days before the booking, but luckily my husband checked Airbnb’s new Covid-19 cancellation policy: basically the Government was not allowing anyone to stay away from home (apart from purposes of work) unless it was in totally self-contained accommodation. We were able to cancel through Airbnb by sending details of the Government’s policy and proof that the apartment had a shared entrance and corridors. I got my full refund. I am not blaming anybody for this – the host was completely within his rights – but it has taught me a lesson for the future.

18 people found this review helpful

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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Other Members' Thoughts - 4 Comment(s)

  • Hardyplant
    1 day ago
    Yes, it all depends on the policy that the individual host adopts - in my case it was a Strict Cancellation policy - but probably most hosts don't use this. I don't want to put people off Airbnb but just make them aware of the difficulties they might encounter if they choose a property that has a Strict Cancellation policy in place.
  • discerning-traveller
    1 day ago
    Interesting.i might not have the read the small print if I booked now as have cancelled with Airbnb in the past and had full refund. A neighbour has had to postpone , and then cancel same Airbnb booking due to Covid, and again - no charge, maybe it’s worth checking this with the host as time of booking. I’ve been lucky as have only positive things to say about Airbnb
  • Hardyplant
    6 days ago
    Yes, I was fortunate it wasn't a self-contained property. My heading should have read Strict Cancellation Policy so I hope readers realise that not every host adopts this policy.
  • ESW
    6 days ago
    Food for thought there. I've read negative stories about Airbnb and their cancellation policy on other review sites. At least you did manage to get a full refund.